Watchdog 10 Finds City Slow To Repair Water Leaks

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The City of Columbus has a policy to repair water leaks within 14 days of being reported.

Watchdog 10 found that in many cases, it takes much longer than 14 days.

Shelley Beal said that she reported water bubbling up along Hoover Road in the middle of August.

“So, I called in about three weeks ago to the city of Grove City, and they said they had someone coming out in 10 days, but it was Columbus city water that had to come out to take care of the situation,” Beal said.

Twenty-three days after Beal’s call, Watchdog 10 shot video of the water still flowing into the gutter and down the storm drain.

“Water is a very precious commodity in the United States, and I don’t think we should be letting water run like this for 30 days,” said Corrlina Wells, a concerned citizen.

Officials from the Columbus Division of Water said that they strive to repair water leaks within 14 days to minimize water loss.

In the case of the leak near Hoover Road, officials said that they had a hard time coordinating with nearby businesses about the best time to turn off their water so the leak could be fixed.

According to city policy, the city is supposed to immediately erect signs letting the public know that they are aware of the leak and to give an estimated repair date. The water department said that a sign was installed but had no record of it.  Neighbors reported not seeing any sign until Sept. 17 – after Watchdog 10 began inquiring.

Rick Westerfield of Columbus Power and Water said that there is no way to know how much water flowed down the drain.

He said that he has emphasized to his crews the importance of following procedures.

“If anybody sees any type of water leak and they don’t see a sign up, please call us so we can get out there and not only make sure the sign gets up but makes sure that we have the break still on our schedule for repair,” Westerfield said.

The leak on Hoover Road was repaired on Sept. 19 – 27 days after it was reported

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September 13, 2012: Water Leaks Cost City Thousands